Karen Rogers, Founder and Director
Food is a phenomenal social force; a sense of camaraderie and friendship is naturally established through the preparation and sharing of a meal. I see food's magic at work at every single Sprouts class; as kids throw on their aprons and jump into the menu hands-on and head-first, the normal socioeconomic barriers dissolve. It's no surprise that one of my favorite things to do is prepare and share simple, delicious foods with others.
I love fresh fruits and vegetables. Pickled, sautéed, boiled, chopped, raw, cooked, seasoned or plain—there is no form that I don’t enjoy. If I had to pick a favorite cuisine, however, I would say anything with a Moroccan twist. Cinnamon on meat? What a marvelous combination…
I absolutely love traveling—learning, tasting, and feeling my way through new places, different cultures, and foreign countries. It is an exhilarating experience that titillates every sense. There is no better way to stay grounded (and well-rounded) than to challenge your way of thinking by actually living another’s story.
Food is a unifying force in so many of my relationships with others. My friends and I spend long nights making meals out of fresh ingredients each of us bought from various markets. At school I make my latest batch of vegan cookies for my roommates to give everyone something sweet during a tough week of exams. At home I show respect to my parents by making them a big dinner after work. At my summer camp kids take turns making bread for the 60 other campers each night, and make all sorts of snacks for everyone to enjoy each day. For me, food is used to show respect and love for other and is the best way to bring people together.
I would eat tapas every single day if I could. I love anything savory and packed with flavor, and of course anything with farm fresh ingredients! I also have serious hummus and chocolate infatuations (but never indulge them at the same time because that’d just be reckless).
I’m always reading, exploring, and playing my ukulele. I’m constantly looking to see and experience new things and hear others’ stories. I love getting to know people and can’t wait to meet everyone who comes through Sprouts!
A professor once told me eating is the only activity that engages all 5 sense and I could not have agreed more! Sometimes we’re so busy with school, work and activities we forget what an essential role food plays in all of our lives. My hope is to get kids reconnected with the food they eat and build a generation of mindful eaters.
If there was an antonym for picky eater my name would be on it. I’m pretty open to trying to all sorts of food from different cultures. My most recent culinary adventure was traveling through Southeast Asian and sampling food from street stalls and hawker stands.
I love a good adventure where I can unplug and spend sometime under the sun! Whether it is hiking, biking, or running you can always find me out and about. There is so much to see and do in the Bay Area and I’m so happy to call it my home.